Essential Operations Management

by Alex Hill and Terry Hill

Learning objectives

Click on the links below to access learning objectives for each chapter of the book.

Chapter 1: Managing Operations

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Explain the role of operations management in an organization
  • Appreciate the dimensions that make up the operations management task
  • Identify where the operations function fits within an organization
  • Illustrate the crucial role of operations management in organizational success
  • Set the scene for the rest of the book
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Chapter 2: Operations Strategy

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Appreciate how, in large organizations, strategy has evolved into three levels – corporate, business unit and functional
  • Distinguish between an executive’s day-to-day and strategic roles
  • Identify how business unit and functional strategies interface with each other
  • Appreciate why the critical first step in developing a functional strategy is agreeing the order-winners and qualifiers for the different markets in which a business competes
  • Understand the strategic mix within most organizations of being both market-driven and market-driving
  • Develop and implement an operations strategy
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Chapter 3: Designing services and products

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Appreciate the key role of new service and product development as the lifeblood of an organization
  • Identify the alternative strategies in service and product innovation
  • Differentiate between long-term and tactical programmes
  • List the steps involved in designing and developing resources and products
  • Recognize and use the insights that can be gained by placing services or products into the correct positions on their respective life cycles and into the portfolio analysis grid
  • Select from and use a range of techniques and approaches related to design.
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Chapter 4: Delivering services

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Recognize the technical and business requirements that need to be met when delivering services
  • Identify the distinctive characteristics of service operations
  • Identify the difference between categories of service and types of service delivery system
  • Explain the approach to the overall design of service delivery systems
  • List the key phases in the detailed design of service delivery systems
  • Give examples of the impact of IT on the design of service delivery systems
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Chapter 5: Making Products

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Recognize the technical and business requirements when making products
  • Describe the manufacturing process decision and how it is influenced by the volume of demand
  • Define the different types of manufacturing process – project, jobbing, batch, line and continuous processing
  • Identify the difference between categories of product and types of manufacturing process
  • Appreciate the key business implications of the types of manufacturing process
  • Explain why hybrids such as cells may be introduced
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Chapter 6: Location and Layout

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Recognize the levels at which decisions about location must be made, and the background issues that affect the choice of location for a facility or outlet
  • Describe the various techniques for choosing a location and explain how they work
  • Outline the factors that influence the choice of layout and the key features of each of the basic types of layout, as well as the layouts for hybrid delivery systems
  • Explain the process of layout design
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Chapter 7: Managing Capacity

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Understand the nature of capacity and the mix of resources involved
  • Appreciate the purpose of managing capacity and the impact of having too little and too much capacity
  • Explain how to define and measure capacity in different organizations
  • Appreciate the differences between capacity, utilization and efficiency
  • Understand the factors involved in determining the level of capacity required
  • Appreciate the demand-related and capacity-related issues of determining capacity levels
  • Explain the steps in capacity planning
  • Recognize the key factors in managing demand and capacity
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Chapter 8: Scheduling and executing operations

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Appreciate the key role of operations scheduling within a business
  • Recognize the different types of operations scheduling system and for which businesses each is appropriate
  • Formulate a simple bar chart and network analysis
  • Explain the elements of a material requirements planning system
  • Appreciate how manufacturing resource planning and enterprise resource planning have developed and how they supplement a material requirements planning system
  • Explain how enterprise resource planning works
  • Understand the just-in-time approach both in terms of its role as a scheduling system and as a philosophy of operations management
  • Understand how optimized production technology works
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Chapter 9: Managing Inventory

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Explain the different types of inventory and their roles
  • Show the presence of the different types of operations inventory in manufacturing processes and service delivery systems
  • Review the approaches to address the key inventory questions relating to:

    What items to hold in stock?
    How much to hold, and how much and when to order
  • Examine the different inventory systems and identify which should be used for different types of business
  • Understand how to analyse inventory in order to keep levels to a minimum
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Chapter 10: Managing Quality

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Explain what quality is and why it is important
  • Understand the stages involved in managing quality conformance
  • Apply alternative tools and techniques to improve quality conformance
  • Critically evaluate the quality conformance levels within an organization and suggest improvements
  • Understand the alternative approaches to managing quality
  • Propose and substantiate quality improvements within a given operational context
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Chapter 11: Managing the Supply Chain

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Define what a supply chain is and outline the steps that make up the chain
  • Explain the factors that affect the design of a supply chain, including the decision to make or buy, the alternatives to making or buying and the issues surrounding outsourcing, both domestically and offshore
  • Understand the processes of managing and developing supply chains, and the techniques used in these approaches
  • Outline the benefits of effectively managing supply chains
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Chapter 12: Improving Operations

After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
  • Explain why companies need to improve their operations
  • Understand how operations can be improved to release cash, improve market support and reduce costs
  • Apply alternative improvement approaches, tools and techniques to identify improvement opportunities within a company
  • Critically evaluate the differing improvement approaches used by organizations
  • Understand the alternative approaches to making improvements
  • Propose and substantiate improvements within a given operational context
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